lifestyle

Sara Bareilles & Cyndi Lauper’s New Video for Pediatric Cancer Will Make You Smile and Cry

Singers Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper combined forces in an effort to raise awareness and fight pediatric cancer.   I don’t care how tough you are, this video will send you spiraling into a whirlwind of emotions, and is liable to make you smile and...

To Frappucino or Not to Frappucino: The Caloric Expenses of an All-Nighter

As Almost-Doctors, we’ve all spent more than our fair share of late nights, if not all-nighters. And unless you’re superhuman, you most likely rely on a variety of study snacks and caffeinated beverages to power through those long nights of orgo or biochem or pharma. Sure, you knew that the Venti Mocha Frappucino wasn’t the healthiest, but caffeine is caffeine, right? Not quite… Click the image to...

A Flu for Who? An Influ-Venn-Za Diagram

The sun starts to set earlier, the wind picks up, the temperatures drop, and the lecture hall echoes with a symphony of sneezes and coughs… it’s flu season.   To guide you through every doctor’s favorite season, here’s a little information and history on the different types of influenza strains that can affect various animals and humans. Click the image to...

5 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Shut-In This Winter

Can you smell it? Wafting gently through the air, that elusive yet persistent hint of something that raises the fine hair on your arms but that you can’t quite name? Of course you can. It’s the faint, crisp, all too familiar scent that heralds the coming of autumn. I know, I know, it feels like summer just barely started and suddenly the warm breeze is tinged with the suggestion of the coming cold weather. It feels like I was celebrating the first day of spring mere weeks ago yet somehow it’s already the end of August.Labor Day Weekend has snuck up and found us in a cruel game of hide & seek. School is just around the corner and it’s time to return to early mornings yawning away in lecture and late nights studying in the hushed library. Oh sweet summer children, winter is coming and it almost doesn’t bear thinking about.     If you’re like me and are already feeling the cold fingers of despair when contemplating the prospect of trudging through feet of snow into a wall of sleet, here are a list of things to look forward to as the weather begins to turn. 1. Apple/Pumpkin Picking!  Depending on where you live, this is a great option if you’re looking for a fun day out in the fall. Go with a group and dress appropriately...

Patients Are NOT Like Airplanes

As promised in my post “Surgeons Are Not Pilots,” I will address the issue of whether patients can be compared to airplanes. Honestly, I cannot think of even one thing that patients have in common with airplanes. Unlike an airplane, each patient is unique. If a pilot sits at the controls of any Airbus A320 aircraft, he can be reasonably sure that pulling back the stick a certain amount will result in a very consistent response from the plane. Therefore, practicing on a simulator will enable the pilot to prepare for any emergency with the knowledge that what he did on the simulator will in fact be reproducible in a real emergency. Contrast that with a patient. Often patients with similar illnesses will behave very differently because human beings are not engineered like airplanes. For example, let’s say I am performing a difficult laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder) and I am having trouble locating the cystic artery (artery to the gallbladder). I know that the anatomy of the cystic artery is highly variable. This link illustrates 11 of the most common anatomic variations in the location of that vessel. This means that there is not a simple maneuver that will help me find the artery in every case. A pilot can be confident that a 5% increase in power will result in a very predictable response in airspeed....

Cute Baby is a CPR Pro

When I took my CPR class this past spring, I realized I was a bit behind the curve. Most of my classmates were just renewing their licenses that they had had for years, and we were all the same age. Someone vaguely taught me CPR back in that Red Cross Babysitting Training Class back in 2007, but something like that apparently doesn’t fulfill the CPR certification for an EMT. Apparently, I’m even more behind the curve than I thought… Post by HCH Fans Club. *A big thanks to Rohan Jotwani for discovering this precious...

Surgeons Are Not Pilots

I am sick of hearing that surgeons can be compared to pilots. Yes, there are some similarities and some things can be learned from the aviation industry. For example, I am a big fan of checklists, having used them in both the operating room and intensive care settings. Both a general surgeon and a fighter pilot will have occasions to multitask and both need to have what is termed “situational awareness” or an understanding of where he is and what is going on around him. But let’s look at some of the differences between specifically, general surgeons (GS) and fighter pilots (FP). The training of surgeons and pilots is remarkably different. Both spend 4 years in college, but there is no pilot equivalent to medical school. General surgery residency takes 5 years. Flight school is 2 years.   Total hours of training for a GS after medical school can be broken down as follows. Five years of residency training at 80 hours/week equals 20,800 hours. Allowing for 6 hours of sleep/night (Ha!) over five years would reduce the actual training time to 15,600 hours of which some 2000 hours would be spent in the operating room (about 1000 cases performed by the average graduating chief resident at about 2 hours/case). Total hours of training for an FP entering the US Air Force are as follows. Once accepted to flight...